We had our winning streak snapped last night with the Nationals tough 3-2 loss to Atlanta. There is always a slight risk of fading a knuckleballer – even one who was struggling as mighty as R.A. Dickey, as you never know what night that knuckler will do it’s magical dance. It danced like it was 2012 last night – and the Nationals mustered just four hits all night long.
Alas, we will get back on our grind tonight as the penultimate weekend of the MLB Regular Season commences. The Cubs and Brewers are back at it tonight after last night’s dramatic 5-3 tenth-inning Cubs win. The Rockies also lost, so all of a sudden, we have three teams within a game and a half of each other for the final wildcard spot. The Cardinals head to miserable Pittsburgh, while Colorado heads to lousy San Diego – if each can do what they are supposed to do, we should have a tight race heading into the final week of the season.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Washington Nationals +128 at New York Mets -138 (Total: 8.5)
Edwin Jackson (5-6, 4.77 ERA) vs. Robert Gsellman (7-7, 5.22 ERA)
The Nationals had some demons against the Mets in 2015, and the domination of the Mets in the head-to-head matchups was a big factor in propelling them to the World Series. Things done changed.
Since Daniel Murphy switched dugouts, this rivalry has looked dramatically different. This season the Nats are 8-3 against New York and has won six of their last seven games in New York. The Mets may have a starting pitching (slight) edge tonight, but Washington at plus-money at Citi Field is enticing.
Edwin Jackson’s last three starts have been season-stats destroyingly AWFUL. He has gone from a 2.94 ERA at the end of August to his current near-five mark. How does a season evaporate so quickly? Allow 16 earned runs in 11.1 innings over three trainwreck starts. The Nats lost all three. Obviously. But I think that recent string of disaster introduces some nice value tonight. He got an extra day of rest since his last outing, and Washington is hoping it is enough to get him back on track.
Robert Gsellman hasn’t exactly been Cy Young this season either. His last outing was really excellent; seven shutout innings, but his ERA has fluttered around six most of the season and his opponent batting average is a robust .284. That doesn’t bode well facing the dynamic Washington Nationals’ lineup. He has been better in his three starts since being recalled from AAA, but I don’t think he is ready to blank the Nats tonight.
The value is on the Nats, even without Harper and even with Edwin Jackson scuffling. They are one of the best road teams in baseball, and expect their offense to give Jackson some nice support and at least a chance to win.
Today’s MLB Pick: WASHINGTON NATIONALS TO WIN +128